LOG6406E is an advanced undergraduate/graduate course offered in English at Polytechnique Montreal. The course will cover the following topics:

Human-centered research methods for understanding and supporting computer and software developers, designers, users, and other stakeholders. Interview for understanding users/developers and eliciting requirements. Survey for collecting large-scale user and developer-centered data. Lab-based human-centered study for evaluating computer and software systems. Structured observation of usage and development activities. Automated human-centered data collection and open data. Physiological measures. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of human-centered development and usage data. Reporting and presentation of results. Ethical concerns when working with human subjects. Exemplars of these methodologies and methods in real-world computer and software engineering research scenarios.

Learning Objectives

This course aims to equip students with human-centered research methods for understanding and supporting computer and software users, developers, designers, and other stakeholders. These research methods are especially essential in empirical software engineering and human-computer interaction.

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:

  • analyse the research design strategies, logistical considerations, and ethical concerns of human-centered inquiry in the context of computer and software engineering;
  • design and execute common human-centered studies and evaluate their advantages and disadvantages;
  • select and perform appropriate analysis techniques to examine data collected from human-centered studies, and;
  • effectively summarize and communicate human-centered research findings.

Teaching and learning methods

This course adopts a project-based active learning approach. The structure of this course relies greatly on the contributions of the students. Students are expected to complete readings before each class, participate in class activities and discussions, and contribute to individual and team projects in order to grasp the course materials and practice critical thinking, teamwork, and communication skills.


This course relies on the following books (eBooks are available at the Polytechnique library) and various articles to be available online.

A scheduling for required and optional readings will be available online.